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  1. 28 points
    Since it seems to come up a lot, and although Twangster's detailed blog is far superior, I thought there may be one or two who might be curious about a recent experience. I purchased it for my 4-night Mariner of the Seas cruise to Nassau/Coco Cay. I was a solo traveler and I had a $25 onboard credit, so the price came to $55. Between Voom and lunch on embarkation day, I'd already gotten my value, so it was really a no-brainer purchase for me. Embarkation: They called The Key people with the Pinnacle/Diamond/Diamond Plus members when they opened up the doors. I suspect they just threw us in with them because it was so early and there were very few people in the terminal yet. Delivery of carry on luggage to stateroom: A few of us wandered around trying to figure out where to drop off our carry on luggage when we first boarded - they were a little behind and didn't have a sign on the theatre door, or anyone in the theatre to take the bags yet. In about 10 minutes we all figured it out (all 5 of us at that point) and someone did show up to start the process. Unfortunately that person hadn't been provided with any luggage tags, so anyone who hadn't tagged their luggage had to wait a little while - I had my luggage tag on my one rolling carry on. They also had business cards with Voom codes on it - but none of them matched the names of anyone who was there, so staff was confused. In the end they just gave us a card for whoever (sorry Adam Davis, or whoever's I had), and we were on our way. I assume they managed to work it out in the end, but it was never an issue for me. Lunch at Chops - was a nice treat! Reserved seating section at shows - I only went to the comedy show really late on Embarkation day and on the last night. There was a section roped off for The Key next to either higher C&A or suite folks - it really didn't matter at this show because there was really hardly anyone in the theatre. The first night I sat in The Key section, the last night I sat somewhere else - it didn't matter. But this is Mariner, not a Quantum or Oasis class ship, so I imagine it would make a difference on one of those ships. Reserved times for Flow Rider/Rock Climbing Wall/Sky Pad/Perfect Storm - they had at least 2 hours set aside during the week for each activity. They weren't at the most convenient hours, but, at least on my sailing, it wasn't necessary for a separate time - there was never a line at any of those activities - I never saw more than a few people in line for any of them and most of the time nobody was using them. Apparently this was a "sit by the pool and drink" cruise for folks. On the 2nd day, I happened to stop by my cabin to pick something up and someone knocked on my door and delivered a fruit plate that was complimentary for The Key people. That was unexpected. Priority tender - We only tendered at CoCo Cay - I went down to get on the tender about an hour after we anchored and there was a line (not a ridiculous line, but a line as you'd expect there to be). There was no staff along the line at all to ask about The Key benefit, and I'm just not the type to walk past a bunch of people who are waiting to also get on the tender to get in front of them, so I just got on with everyone else. I was able to get on the tender right away anyway, probably because I wasn't trying to get on the first tender of the day, so it was just fine with me. I could have been more assertive, but that's just not me. And the ending result would have been exactly the same in this case. Disembarkation Day - it was nice to have a quiet, unrushed breakfast in the MDR. It was the only time I'd sat with other people during a meal - almost the only time I'd spoken to any other people all week (I did talk to the iguana and the chickens on CoCo Cay earlier, that's a whole different story #retiredzookeeper) and I did enjoy that. After breakfast, I ran back up to my room, grabbed my carry on, and went down to Deck 4, where there happened to be a staff member manning the line. I asked him about The Key disembarkation, and he personally escorted me to the gangway past a long line, which was REALLY nice. I liked the program, and it was defnintely worth it on a short sailing. I was getting Voom anyway, and there were just enough things that I was going to enjoy along the way that it made it worth it to me. I very much doubt that I'll get it on my Ovation sailing to Alaska in June - I will be going with my husband, who has no interest in Voom, and we will be meeting up with old friends, who will not have The Key, so we won't be taking advantage of reserved seating with shows and special times for activities since they won't be able to partake with us during those times. We'll evaluate it again on our Symphony sailing in Feb 2020 - things may have changed with the program, or the hubs may decide he wants internet access, so we'll see then. Hope this helps someone out there!
  2. 21 points
    Yesterday I experienced a trip delay returning on a cruise and I thought it would make an interesting "lessons learned" post. My 4 night cruise on Brilliance of the Seas left Tampa on time and on schedule. It was a great cruise with a group of friends and we all enjoyed it. When we finished our day in Cozumel and re-boarded the ship none of us knew how mother nature had her own plans for our return to Tampa despite calm seas and smooth sailing. Fog. Heavy fog. To reach the pier in Tampa you need to pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. In 1980 during severe weather a freighter struct the original bridge sending a section of the bridge crashing into the bay killing 35 people. As such, Tampa and it's pilots don't take chances when it comes to weather. We arrived to the Tampa pilot station six hours ahead of schedule in an attempt to beat the fog but the fog beat us, arriving earlier than forecast. Our attempt to beat the fog and arrive early didn't come without cost. Running any boat, vessel, craft or ship at full speed consumes a massive amount of fuel compared to running at a nominal cruising speed. Royal spent tens of thousands of dollars on fuel and it's an example how Royal does try to do the best thing for everyone involved even if it costs them significant sums of money. Waking up early on debark day I noted our speed was zero but we were still outside of Tampa Bay. Oh boy, here we go. Up on deck 12 I could see several cargo and tanker ships hanging around with us in the fog. Beyond the lights of the other ships you couldn't see much of anything. Fog. The Captain informed us that the channel into the port was closed by the Coast Guard and we would need to wait until the channel opened and a pilot could come out to board the ship. The initial estimate was a 2:30pm arrival at the pier. Not long after the Captain informed us that he just got word that another cruise ship got stuck in port the day before and couldn't leave due to the fog. The channel through Tampa Bay is narrow and only one cruise ship can occupy it at a time, two ships cannot pass each other in the channel. It takes 2 to 3 hours for a ship to transit the channel. We had no choice but to wait for that ship to depart and clear the bay before could begin our entrance to the bay. Estimated arrival now 5:30pm. Lesson 1 - Don't book early flights. While sitting around an airport for a day doesn't sound that attractive you need to understand the risk that comes with booking an early flight. Delays happens for a number of reasons most of which are no one's fault and unavoidable. Weather delays happen, some ports like Tampa or Galveston are more likely to experience delays at certain times of the year. Do some research before booking that flight. Delays can occur for many reasons beyond weather. In my case, I had booked a 6:30pm flight home because it was cheapest, like $175 cheaper than the 10:30am direct flight. Over the weeks before the cruise I kept looking at that knowing I could pay the difference on Southwest and grab the earlier direct flight but if someone said to me "I'll give you $175 and all you need to do is stay at an airport for 8 hours" I'd take that deal every time. I knew I could get some work done using the free airport wifi so my plan was to get off the ship early and spend the day working from the airport knowing if there was a delay, I could be relaxed and not stressed out. Not only did I save money but the later flight also saved me a bunch of stress during this experience. Lesson 2 - Travel Insurance. This is a perfect example of how travel insurance needs to be high on anyone's list to consider. Our group of about 70 included folks with travel insurance and some "self insured" as they put it. Some people were out $400 or $500 per person to rebook next day airfare and they had to pay for a hotel and meals on top of that. For a couple that can be over $1,000. For a family of four that could be over $2,000. Those with insurance will get some, if not all of that back. Those without just lost a whole lot of money. However know your travel insurance coverage and limits. My annual travel insurance policy was chosen primarily for medical coverage. It has some trip interruption coverage but it doesn't have great reimbursement for delays of this nature. Lesson 3 - If you have travel insurance, know how to use it. A lot of people in our group had insurance but had no idea what to do in the hour of need. What is their phone number? What is the policy number? What is covered and what isn't? How much is covered? Do you need pre-approval? What documentation is required? The ship had letters pre-printed and available at guest services stating there was a weather delay and some insurance companies will need that documentation for a claim to proceed. If you buy insurance that's great, but know what to do when you need to use it. Lesson 4 - They keep the food and beverages flowing. No need to worry about your extra time on board, they have ample food for such events and lined up more activities to keep us busy. Most people took it all in stride and rolled with it. It was quite enjoyable, much like any sea day. Lesson 5 - Listen to announcements and pay attention. On the last night of the cruise many people put their luggage tags on their bag and place them in the hallway. Bags are collected by the crew and prepared to be offloaded once the ship reaches the pier. It takes time for the pier personnel to offload thousands of bags. There is a reason why bag tags have numbers and bags are offloaded in order so that numbers can be called only when those bags will be ready and waiting in the terminal. During an event like this there a natural tendency to want to get off as soon as the ship arrives but cruise terminals cannot hold thousands of people waiting hours for luggage to be offloaded. Of course what occurred once we did finally reach the pier? Hundreds of guests ignored the announcements, made a stampede to exit during the "self assist" time and found themselves having to stand outside the terminal waiting for up to 2 hours for their luggage, with no where to sit and no food or water. If they had listened to the announcements they could have been sitting comfortably on the ship with access to restrooms, food and beverages. Instead they made the self-assist process more chaotic and accomplished nothing but misery for themselves in the process. Listen to the announcements, follow instructions. Lesson 6 - You can't fight mother nature. It's not the crew's fault, it's not the Captains fault, it's not the cruise line's fault. Don't be one of those people making an already difficult situation any worse. Even if you are one of those people who choose to ignore the lessons above, at the end of the day becoming ugly or snarky with the crew or terminal employees accomplishes nothing. Sit back, take a deep breathe and relax. Life will go on and it will all work out in the end. Put a smile on in the face of adversity. Be kind to other's and don't get everyone else spun up. Staying calm and friendly helps other's stay calm and friendly. If you are stressed out, it will make your spouse and/or kids stressed out. If you are calm and smiling through it, your loved ones will be more relaxed. Do it for them. Lesson 7 - If you don't buy insurance you've only got yourself to blame. Accept the fact that you saved some money by not buying insurance. You took a gamble and lost. The money saved by not buying insurance may take a small bite out of your losses. No cruise line can change factors beyond their control. It's not their fault. You took the chance and lost. Accept responsibility and move on. Me? I got lucky. A lot of factors combined to work out in my favor. I had booked a later flight. I have travel insurance. I always use self-assist. Customs was fast. Taxi's were waiting. TSA Pre lines had no wait. Southwest did an amazing job getting my luggage on the plane checking in at 38 minutes before departure. The stars aligned for me perfectly and I didn't need to make a claim against my insurance policy. I was fortunate but in a small group of lucky guests.
  3. 19 points
    I’ve seen posts about buying small models of cruise ships and what not, so for the purpose of entertainment, how much for this model I made of Oasis? Let’s start at $50 :)
  4. 19 points
    Wrong cruise line?
  5. 16 points
    “I Dream of Genie” – Star Class - Harmony of the Seas – 03/10/19-03/17/19 Dreams…that is how many things begin; that is how this adventure began. But with every dream that comes true, there is always a journey. Here is our journey, almost 3 years in the making. Note: Pulling a @JLMoran here, it’s long winded lol. Back in May 2016, I read with keen interest, a blog post by @Matt that Royal was rolling out a new suite class program. The concept of Star Class intrigued me, but at the time, I knew that it was beyond our reach. However, dreams have no limits, and one can look but not touch. You all know that I am a shopaholic right? 😂 As the program rolled out, I read reviews, followed blogs, looked on in wonder and envy as I watched the Genies do their thing on Allure in 2016 and later on Harmony in 2017. This was pretty much me on those sailings... In February 2017, I came across a blog by @WAAAYTOOO. I believe it was her first time in Star Class and she had Reyno as her Genie. After that, I knew, without a doubt that this was something that I needed to try. The big question was how? The answer is that I really don’t know how I would have this opportunity without the help of some dear friends along the way, right here in the message boards. Somewhere between February 2017 and January 2018, I read a post by @tiny260 that really was the first glimmer of hope that Star Class could be a reality for us. @tiny260 basically posted that he had recently booked a good deal in Star Class by scouring the calendar week by week. There were only two problems with that idea: I did not have much time to go through each sailing, week by week and ship by ship, and there are only several times in the year that I can sail due to work. So, I set aside Tiny’s idea but made a point to remember his tip. In January 2018, call it God’s will, or good things come to those who wait, or fate, @WAAAYTOOO started a thread in the “Rumours and News” section here about a special STAR savings discount of $1000. I was also off work last year which meant I had all day to look. So, taking @tiny260's tip I went about an all-day effort to find something that would fit our schedule. Trouble was that my schedule was only flexible until September 2018 and I already had bookings for 2018 that I did not want to cancel. This is the point in the journey where sometimes intercession occurs, and you cannot logically explain what follows. During my search that day, I stumbled upon a sailing on Harmony (which I expected to be the highest price second to Symphony) for March 10, 2019. This worked out perfectly since this would be our March break, I would be off work, and Harmony is my favourite ship. For reasons that I cannot explain, this was also one of the lower priced sailings for a Star class cabin (compared to OA/AL/SY). How did I know that? Because up until this point, I had been tracking the prices on Star Class cabins and reading posts on the price that others were paying. Another example of how it pays to do your research. This low price, combined with the additional $1000 STAR discount, made it a no-brainer. I put a hold on it even before I had a chance to run it by Hubby. There are many that I have heard say, “Why would someone want to spend so much on a cabin?” or, “I would take more cruises over such an expensive one any day.” Here are my thoughts on that. We have taken enough cruises to know what we like. We are cabin and balcony people. We do spend time in our cabin, so to us, a nice cabin is important and worth it. My work schedule limits us to certain times of the year that we can cruise. Instead of taking our money and spreading it over a bunch of cruises (which we can’t do any way), we are putting it all into one. It all works out the same. Our original booking was for a Guarantee Star Class cabin. The code on the booking was A2-GTY. This was new to me and I did not even know such a category existed. I ran it by @WAAAYTOOO and a few others and figured that we had nothing to lose as the bare minimum would be an A2 on Deck 10. Hubby got home that evening and, after some persuasion and promises to curb the Lulu shopping, he suggested that if we were going to splurge on Star Class then we might as well go big and go to Deck 17, the “gated community” as some call it, and really live out that “WOW factor”. Ever since our inaugural sailing on Oasis, Deck 17 was always a wish of ours. I warned him that Star Class on Deck 17 could be quite a jump in price. Still curious, we called late that evening and inquired about what it would cost to upgrade. It was $100 extra (total). Done. No brainer. Again, an anomaly that I cannot explain. Since our original booking in January, I have re-priced our sold-out cabin 3 times for a total savings of almost $3000 less than what we originally booked for. The cost was many hours of tracking, but it paid off. We already had a great deal to begin with and it just got sweeter along the way. As we get ready for this grand adventure into Star Class, I must take the time to thank @WAAAYTOOO, @Mindybrite, @tiny260, @CGTLH, and @constable145. Your insight, advice, and blogs have been more valuable than you know. Words cannot express my appreciation. Finally, @Matt, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank you for creating this amazing community of people (enablers) who helped in making this a true possibility. I often say to my own girls, and my students, that we should never be afraid or give up in the pursuit of our dreams. Dreams can come true, this being the perfect example. So, without further delay, come take this journey with us, I would want it no other way.
  6. 16 points
  7. 15 points
  8. 15 points
    It's time and I am jazzed! I start this blog on the front sun deck area up front deck 12. It's my second blog and hope to share enough info to help others and just maybe entertain. We embark from San Juan in about 5 hours which has lent itself to be a very relaxed time. We arrived at the port at noon and from handing the bags to the porters to walking on board was ten minutes max. I assume we slid in right after the call of all those that were waiting for the ship to be cleared to board. The windjammer seemed quieter possibly again because there is so much time before the muster drill. No sense of a rush to get food before they close. We are coming back to Freedom from our first trip on an Oasis size ship. Honestly I was surprised that my first impression was that this ship seemed small. I remember how I thought Freedom was gigantic just last year. Well, not to fear, after walking around during the past few hours, it is feeling large again. Plus it helps being next to the Disney Wonder which is a good deal smaller. I will recap the full day later but will leave you with some pre departure thoughts. - San Juan airport was very busy with the taxi line being about a 30 minute wait. No Uber from the airport. - We stayed at a nice boutique hotel, the San Geronimo, but it's more european style than American. It is less than a mile to the port and about a mile and a half to the center of old San Juan. - fortunate enough to have been here for the San Sebastian festival in old San Juan. Good music and fun but very crowded. Hope you enjoy following and feel free to ask questions. I will try to track the answers down!
  9. 13 points
    michelle

    Passports and Documentation

    Let's talk Passports and Documents Even though I do tell clients what they need to bring with them to board a ship sometimes life gets in the way and they forget or find out last minute they don't have what they need. My rule of thumb is when I make final payment OR you make your final payment CHECK your passport or Documents and make sure they are in order. if not you still have some time> Trust me - I have had to run to DC and get a last minute passport for my husband because we could not find his current passport or His birth certificate and it cost me $500 but I did get it 4 days before sailing so it can be done, lol Don't make my mistake. Here below is what is actually written on your cruise document from ROYAL with links too. Before You Leave: Required Travel Documents and Identification It is the guest's responsibility to obtain all valid travel documents for their vacation. These valid travel documents such as passports, visas, inoculation certificate and family legal documents are required for boarding and re-entry into the United States and other countries. Guests should check with their travel agent and/or government authority to determine the travel documents needed for each destination, including the port of embarkation. Documentation and Immigration Requirements · Guests are highly encouraged to travel with a valid passport, even when not required · For your protection, we recommend that your passport expiration date does not occur within six (6) months of the sailing return date. · Some foreign ports of call require a visa. Please contact the Embassy (Consular Services) of each country on your sailing itinerary or the visa service of your choice for specific visa requirements, information, forms and fees for your nationality. Royal Caribbean suggests the visa provider, CIBT at www.visacentral.com/royalcaribbean or 1.800.858.8579 (identify yourself as a Royal Caribbean guest for discounted rates). · The spelling of the guest(s) name as booked for a cruise must match exactly as their valid passport or proof of citizenship / identification during ship check-in formalities. · Certain countries may have specific travel requirements for your itinerary. Please check any one of the websites below to understand what is necessary for your vacation. · All guests (including children) must present a valid passport when sailing on U.S. Open Loop voyages. These are voyages that commence in a U.S. port, travel within the Western Hemisphere, and end at a different U.S. port. When traveling on these sailings, please take extra caution in understanding the specific documentation requirements. · All guests (including children) require specific travel documents that may include either a passport or other documentation, such as a government-issued birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID denoting photo, name and date of birth, when traveling on U.S. Closed Loop voyages. These are voyages that commence and end in the same U.S. port without leaving the western hemisphere. Please note that Baptismal papers, hospital certificates of birth, voter registration cards or Social Security cards are not considered proof of citizenship. Please view the websites below for more information. · Should the last names of the parent and minor child traveling with them differ, the parent is required to present the child's valid passport and visa (if required) and the child's birth certificate (original, a notarized copy or a certified copy). The name of the parent(s) and the child must be linked through legal documentation. · Adults who are not the parent or legal guardian of a minor traveling with them must present an original notarized letter signed by the child's parent(s), authorizing the adult to take the child on the specific cruise, supervise the child and allow emergency medical treatment to be administered. · Guests on consecutive sailings must ensure they have the proper travel documents for their entire cruise vacation and for any port within their itinerary(s). Please refer to one of the following websites for details on documentation requirements as it relates to your itinerary: · WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative): · Royal Caribbean’s Recommended Visa and Passport Provider: · Alien Registration Card · Royal Caribbean International Website: www.getyouhome.gov Website: www.visacentral.com/royalcaribbean Website: http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/greencard_renewal.html Website: www.RoyalCaribbean.com This booking is governed by the terms and conditions of the Cruise/Cruisetour Ticket Contract. A copy of the most current version of that
  10. 13 points
    I hate to do it, but had to "clean up" this thread. It's okay not to agree, but there are two things we do not condone here: 1. Writing about ways to circumvent RC's rules 2. Personal insults/attacks Keep it civil. Consider yourselves warned.
  11. 13 points
    As promised, here are the photos that I took today of construction progress. I don't have a fancy camera and I didn't edit at all (sorry, guys) but you'll get the gist.
  12. 12 points
  13. 12 points
    You said just for fun.
  14. 11 points
    Symphony, Symphony, Jewel, and Anthem
  15. 11 points
    Aruba a couple weeks ago. ❤️
  16. 11 points
    This is from the Beach Bungalows in Labadee....one of the best days I've had on a cruise.
  17. 11 points
    I'm like @coneyraven, can't pick just one. Here's a few from our first cruise ever, on Freedom of the Seas: And here's a few from our first cruise to Bermuda on Anthem: Can't wait to see what @twangster decides on. But it might require a whole page of his own to fit it all! 😁
  18. 11 points
    This slightly delayed recap of a port day in Curacao just shows that it was a jam packed day of fun and sun! First off, Curacao has rocketted up the charts as one of my favorite ports. Theb15 minute walk to the city center is as nice as I have found. Your start out along the water and go through an old stone fort converted into ships. Definitely go up the walls for a nice view of the harbor. After that you make your across the historic floating bridge and into city center. We spent the morning on our own looking at the architecture and finding the old continuous used synagogue in the Western hemsphire. The building was first used in 1732. There was a $10 charge to walk the grounds, and visit the museum. We also had a half hour talk from the rabbi on the history. After a quick lunch on board we met our excursion that took us to the limestone caves. The caves where nice but the tour guide pointing out all the sites to and from the other side of the island was even more enjoyable. Ziza, our guide, was a bundle of joy and energy. The second part of the tour was a guided exploration of the city center with Ziza. The hour plus walk was the highlight of the excursion. I will let the photos speak for adventure! Back on board we enjoyed a rack of lamb and chicken parmesan in the MDR and then had our traditional slow walk around the outside promonade on deck 4. There is something special being up on the helipad at last light. There was no headliner of production show tonight so it was an early night for us. We love the shows so always are disappointed when there isn't one. Tomorrow, err today is Bonaire and we just got cleared. Time for snorkeling! @Camilla I will get the kids area phots today!
  19. 10 points
    Day 0 (Pre-Cruise-Las Olas Boulevard) We went down to Las Olas Boulevard to find something to eat and drink. We didn't want to go anywhere expensive and really just wanted something quick and easy. We took to Yelp and found a place called Empanada Top that served Argentinian style empanadas and had 4.5 stars on Yelp so we decided to give it a shot. We sat at the bar and got great service from the bartender who explained the difference between the different types of empanadas served in Central America. He said Argentinian empanadas are baked rather than fried. They had several different choices but I went with Beef and Shrimp while my wife ordered the Spinach and Spinach and Cheese. We both thought they were all really good, but if I had to pick a favorite it was the shrimp. It almost had an Italian type of flavor to it with mozzarella cheese which I wasn't expecting. They were very affordable as well at $3.90 per empanada. After that we headed right next door to El Camino to get some margaritas. They have an incredible selection of margaritas and it was hard to pick one because they all sounded so good. We chose the Smoked Pineapple and Watermelon Jalapeño. They have a really good happy hour, even on Saturday, that we just missed where you can get them for $5 or $6 which is a steal. On the way back to the hotel we passed a Publix and decided to stop in to grab some last minute supplies. We also really wanted to check out Publix because we have heard a lot of good things about it. Here in Texas we have a similar store, H-E-B, that everyone loves and we were interested to compare them. I can see why people love it, and it is very similar to H-E-B. After that we headed back to the room to get some rest and get ready for the big day tomorrow. There is nothing quite like the anticipation felt the night before a cruise...
  20. 10 points
    Um, yeah, I couldn't choose a favorite so I went a little "overboard" A few of my favorite pics from 2016, 2017, 2018 on Grandeur OTS -- all trips to Bermuda.
  21. 10 points
    If prices dropped they are trying to stimulate sales. I like to joke we see it when the next interim payment is due on current ship being built. If they need an influx of cash, put it on sale!
  22. 10 points
    CGTLH

    Question on dinner at Windjammer

    Sure, no issues hitting up Windjammer prior to dinner. They don't keep track of who goes in. Bigger issue is keeping to the thought of "small bite".
  23. 10 points
    I saw @Matt Hochberg on a cruise! It was a group cruise, and I sort of knew he would be on it, but still, he is the quintessential cruise celebrity if there is one!
  24. 10 points
    Last sea day full of surprised! Next Cruise - warm and windy today on deck so we eased into the day with a Windjammer breakfast and a mid morning visit to Next Cruise. We first booked our traditional January cruise on Allure to the Western Caribbean. It will be our second time on an Oasis class ship and our second back to the Western Caribbean. Then a wave of "that's a whole year away" came over us so we booked four nights to Cuba/Key West via Majesty. The ship and Cuba will both be new. Super excited! The Art Auction - Say what? We have never stepped into that realm on the ship but with a newly Platinum award of extra raffle tickets in hand off we went. It was a learning experience but very enjoyable. A glass of champagne, lots of action and also rather informative made it a fun two hours. Most importantly, we learned what art we liked and are coming home with two pieces. Who knew!! He last evening - A final MDR led to some time at Olive and Twist which took us to the last production show, Once Upon A Time. This particular show maybe our favorite non Broadway production on the cruises we have been on. All this led to getting our luggage out with four minutes to spare before the 11pm deadline. We have a flight leaving at 6pm tomorrow so yesterday we booked a debarkation day excursion to the rain forest. It's a rather good deal considering we would have to pay for two Ubers and figure where to store our luggage for 10 hours! Stay tuned for that bounus day recap. In the meantime here are some random thoughts. Leaving from San Juan is a weather treat! It's been between 80 and 82 for the entire 7 days. Lows around 75. - The freestyle coke machines had no lines ever. Maybe the cruisers were a different make up or the price increase to $10 a day has decreased demand. We stopped buying the soda package because of price. - talking soda machines, even without the chip mug, it was a great place to get water and ice fast. - This trip went fast, really fast.
  25. 9 points
    Welcome to my [not] live [at all] blog from my Harmony of the Seas Super Bowl Cruise. I originally planned to do an actual live blog, but I knew that I would struggle to keep up with it while on the ship. So instead I decided to use the notes app on my phone to document what we did each day while taking lots photos and a few videos. I have always enjoyed following these live blogs and they've helped me get through several dry docks and countless boring days at work so I am excited to pay it forward. I have a lot of respect for the amount of work it takes, especially doing it live onboard. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to do one. Bare with me as this is my first time, and if you have any questions about the ship or ports feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer. A little background on why we chose this cruise as well as on my wife and I… We are age 29 and 30 and we live in Texas. We usually cruise out of Galveston, but we have been eyeing the Oasis class for years. We actually booked Harmony through Next Cruise on our last Liberty sailing, but decided to cancel because the flight made it just a little too expensive for us. After testing the waters with Carnival last year we now know that Royal Caribbean is the line for us and decided to take the leap and fly out to Florida to sail on Harmony. We went all out on this one and booked both the drink package as well as a 5 night dining package. The dining package was a first for us so we were very excited to get to try all of the restaurants an Oasis class ship has to offer. My wife is a vegetarian, so there should be some good information in here about the vegetarian options at the different restaurants. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary was also a first for us which we were very excited for. We booked Harmony about a year ago not even realizing this was during the Super Bowl cruise. It worked out great because we both love football and we are Texans fans so unfortunately our team is never there anyways! 😒 Itinerary: St Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee Stateroom: Central Park Balcony I am going to try to post a day or two at a time to keep the same feel as a live blog. Here we go…